Author ORCID Identifier

http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2008-9527

Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Fine Arts

Department

Music

First Advisor

Dr. David W. Sogin

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of implied performer age, implied performer gender, and performance quality level on undergraduate music majors’ evaluations of solo alto saxophone performances. Participants (N = 124) were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions: (a) good quality musical performances with images of male performers, (b) good quality musical performances with images of female performers, (c) poor quality musical performances with images of male performers, and (d) poor quality musical performances with images of female performers. All experimental conditions contained high quality images of the faces of both older adults (OA) and younger adults (YA). Participants rated six examples of solo saxophone performances by responding to seven evaluative statements and assigned each performance an overall rating. Two performances were presented in an audio-only format (AO), two performances were presented in an audio-visual (AV) format that featured an image of an OA, and two performances were presented in an AV format that featured an image of a YA. The participants also rated each soloist’s potential to improve musically over a one-year period and provided written comments explaining their rationales for these ratings.

The raw data were used to compute each participant’s mean rating of the AO presentations, the presentations that featured the OA soloists, and the presentations that featured the YA soloists. Individual means were then used in a mixed repeated-measures ANOVA. A significant two-way interaction for implied age condition and performance quality was found and a significant interaction for implied performer gender and performance quality was found. No significant three-way interaction was found. A statistically significant main effect was observed for implied performer age and for level of performance quality. Statistically significant differences were also found between improvement capacity scores assigned to the OA performers and the YA performers and favored the YA performers. The participants’ written explanations of these ratings indicated negative attitudes toward the OA soloists’ abilities to improve musically over a one-year period.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.497

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